11-06-30 CSSB Symposium
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The international Symposium "Science based Prevention" took place on 30th June and 1st July 2011 after the official opening ceremony of the sports research hall of the Humboldt University. The scientific meeting with the title "From regeneration to prevention – a forum for interdisciplinary preventive strategies" was organized by the Center of Sports Science and Sports Medicine Berlin (CSSB) and the Julius Wolff Institute of the Charité. It was aimed to initiate interdisciplinary discussions about preventive strategies by the example of the musculosketal system amongst top level researchers.
Over 150 scientists from various disciplines including medicine, biology, biomechanics, engineering and sports science as well as representatives of the medical engineering industry and the sports industry took part in the meeting. Within one and a half days, the participants discussed latest developments and novel approaches in regeneration, diagnosis and prevention of musculoskeletal injuries and diseases. They also addressed assessment and validation of preventive approaches and discussed actively whether it is possible to scientifically verify the efficacy of preventive activities. A wide range of preventive concepts were presented from outstanding international speakers, including Tom Andriacchi, Vasilios Baltzopoulos, Dieter Felsenberg, Daniel Liebermann, Benno Nigg, Elisabeth Steinhagen-Thiessen, Gustav Steinhoff, Leia Stirling, Anthony D. Woolf.
One positive example of effective prevention was presented by Prof. Daniel Lieberman of Harvard University. Over the years, he studied running performances and injuries and showed that forefoot running leads to less running injuries than heel-toe running. This might be the result of a more light and gentle landing and therefore leads to a less loading impact on joints and bones when running with the forefoot. Liebermann is convinced that the individual running technique is a habit that can be modified.
As additional contributions, Dr. Leia Stirling of the Wyss Institute of the Harvard University presented novel approaches that introduce random or "stochastic" loading in the soles of specially designed shoes - an approach that seems to improve sensory feedback mechanisms and may aid in the reduction of falls in elderly subjects. In order to better understand the effects of new preventive approaches, it is also important to correctly identify the differences that new strategies may have on an individual. To this end, Prof Benno Nigg of the University of Calgary presented methods to assess combinations of measurements, and thereby provide a higher level of understanding of the efficacy in producing effects on the outcome of patients.
The participants agreed that today underlying molecular and cellular processes during bone and muscle regeneration can be identified and understood. However, influencing cellular processes due to preventive purposes is still a vision. Prof. Dr. Georg Duda, chair of the symposium and director of the Julius Wolff Institute is convinced that further steps need to be made: "In order to develop effective preventive strategies we need to understand how regeneration works. Hence, we can systematically identify preventive effects and derive precise activities."
In the last years scientists were able to identify successful measures and instruments that lead to improved regeneration of musculoskeletal injuries. Therefore the researchers and medical scientists agreed that early diagnosis of injuries and diseases need to further developed in order to react mechanically and pharmacologically as early as possible. For example, programmes for preventing falls in the elderly have been developed to reduce falls, and exercises to strengthen relevant muscle groups have been designed to effectively reduce the overload of joints and bones.
Therefore, the early identification of degenerative injuries like arthritis and osteoporosis has a high priority within a lot of research groups in order to react with existing strategies and to avoid or slow down degenerative processes. At the same time, all participants of the symposium agreed that the development of preventive strategies and activities will play an important role in the health research within the next years.